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Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials

Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials     The United States has a unique position amongst the countries of the world;...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Homeland security - final discussion

Identified and described what local law enforcement should be doing to protect U.S. citizens from future criminal attacks or terror attacks.

The sworn duty of public official in America is to protect Americans from these threats. Horwitz argues that the Constitution is a "meta-rule of construction" dedicated to "national self-preservation", he stresses the importance of the Presidential Oath as dedicated to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution (2009, pp. 1069-1070). In America this oath is adhered to at the line level throughout the nation; DeShon contends that a “police officer's oath originates within the United States
Constitution” (2000, p. 6) and Amerson et al reiterate this at the level of sheriff; “ a sheriff should always perform his or her duties in accordance with the Constitution of the United States” (n.d., p.2). They key to the oath is "national self-preservation". To protect the citizens of this country, law enforcement officers must be aware of political interference, and be prepared to counter it. National security should not be allowed to be suborned by political pandering. Note that the oath is to the Constitution, not to any given law that may be unconstitutional, and especially not to any law that threatens national security.

Described how law enforcement agencies can identify terrorists living on the U.S. soil.

Terror suspects can be identified through information sharing from other agencies and through community policing as “The local law enforcement officer is the one the community member sees on a daily basis” (Angeles, 2013, p. 52). The cop on the beat will be the one to notice out of ordinary patterns. One issue that must be considered is that terror organizations often use the crime techniques of organized crime to generate funds. Sanderson states that” Transnational organized crime and international terrorism increasingly share both organizational and operational characteristics, and at times even partner with one another” (2004, p.49). Therefore law enforcement should be aware of crossover activity.

Identified and described the methods to be used to monitor terrorist activities.

LE agencies need to be careful while monitoring terrorists, as “They [terrorists] are on constant alert for people who might be monitoring their activities” (Dyson, 2008, p. 57). Dyson discusses a variety of surveillance tools and techniques (2008). Specific methods include monitoring cell phone calls and visual observation.

Explained how the United States can gain the support of other nations in combating terrorism.

Political entities, including the United States, act for their own survival and benefit. Diplomatic efforts should include the common threat that terrorists pose to all entities. Even in the case of Islam, terror groups are not always religiously,culturally, or politically in line with local communities. One of the factors of success of “The Surge” in Iraq in 2007 was the participation of local Sunni militias hostile to Al Qaeda barbarities One will note that Al Qaeda successor ISIS began taking hold in Iraq after the Iraqi (and Shi'ite) Prime Minister disbanded the local militias.

Analyzed whether foreign suspects should be brought to trial in the same manner as U.S. Citizens.

By the enacted laws of the United States and treaty participation, some would have us do so. However, remembering that the Constitution is an instrument of national self-preservation, there are arguments against doing so. Guiora compares the American, Israeli, Russian, Indian, and Spanish models of terrorist detention and trial (2007), while Elsea defends the American model of trying terrorists under a military tribunal (2001).

I wanted to thank everybody for the discussion, this has been a good class.
I'm on LinkedIn for those interested in networking.

Amerson, L., Champagne, G., Hodson, R., & Weintraub, R. (n.d.). Legal meaning of oath of office. National Sheriff's Association. Retrieved May 18, 2015 from http://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/uploads/Legal%20Meaning%20of%20Oath%20of%20Office.pdf

Angeles, T. (2013, September). Maximizing intelligence sharing within the Los Angeles Police Department (Thesis). Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School. Retrieved October 17, 2014 from https://calhoun.nps.edu/handle/10945/37580

DeShon, R. W. (2000). Police officers oath of office and code of ethics a question of knowledge. Retrieved August, 20, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.dejurerepublicformichigan.org/files/OATH_ETHICS.pdf

Dyson, W. E. (2008). Terrorism: an investigator’s handbook (3rd ed). Newark, NJ: LexisNexis/Anderson Pub.

Elsea, J. (2001). Terrorism and the Law of War: Trying terrorists as war criminals before military commissions. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA452888

Guiora, A. N. (2007). Where are terrorists to be tried. Catholic University Law Review, 56.

Horwitz, P. (2009). Honor’s constitutional moment: The oath and presidential transitions. Northwestern University Law Review, 103(2), 1067–1080. Retrieved May 12, 2015 from http://search.proquest.com.southuniversity.libproxy.edmc.edu/docview/233344356?pq-origsite=summon

Sanderson, T. M. (2004). Transnational terror and organized crime: Blurring the lines. SAIS Review, 24(1), 49–61. Retrieved April 27, 2015 from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/sais_review/v024/24.1sanderson.html

Cole had an interesting point re: treating aliens with full rights.  I was unaware of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights that he asserts the U.S. signed in 1985 (p.372). I would also suggest that any Senator that ratified that treaty should be charged with treason.  Basically, as a signatory, we would have to give due process rights under American law to illegal combatants captured overseas.

On the other hand, were we to establish a legal category for known threats to the security of the country, whther citizen or not, then we would still be abiding by the terms of the treaty.

You are absolutely correct about our political correctness interfering with our security.  When the Clinton Administration failed to target and destroy Al Qaeda after their first attack on the World Trade Center, it created an atmosphere where attacking America was permitted.  Bin Laden stated that "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse" (Ajami, 2011, para. 5).  Writing arrest warrants for people that expect to die in the course of their terror attacks just does not deter their behavior; preemptively destroying their ability to attack, on the other hand, does deter it.

Ajami, F. (2011, May 3). Osama Bin Laden, weak horse. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 15, 2015 from http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704436004576299110143040714

that Ernst article suggests there may be from 20,000 to 30,000 known terrorist already within our borders?  That's scary. particularly when you consider that when a terrorist attack occurs, the media brushes it off. Or even worse, suggests it is the victim's fault and that American's should not criticize tyrannical philosophies.

I think the "ring of steel" would be a good idea theoretically, but the budgets of the cities that use it would have to be modified.

The major issue people have with this type of system is that they don't understand the issue of public versus private.  People object to public surveillance systems because they think such systems violate their privacy.  Perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the difference between public and private is the notion that you can't run around naked in public.

Another issue is related to efficient use of the systems;  I'll link an article which focuses on how badly the "ring of steel" has been managed in London:
Lewis, J. (2010, February 27). Police terror budget cut by millions after Ring of Steel blunder. Retrieved May 20, 2015 from

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